Advantage of SSDI benefits?If you have been injured and you are receiving disability benefits from an employers insurance company you may also be able to able to qualify for SSDI benefits, assuming you have a condition which is expected to last for 12 continuous months and does not allow you to perform substantial gainful activity. In fact, according to Jim Allsup, president and CEO of Allsup Inc., a nationwide disability representation company, there may be several advantages of qualifying for SSDI benefits, benefits not offered through an employer or an insurance companys disability plan.
Advantage of SSDI benefits #1
- Higher monthly payments
If you qualify for SSDI benefits the first advantage of SSDI is that your benefit payout may be higher than a payment offered by your employers disability plan.
Additionally, although its not much, the SSA does periodically adjust disability benefit payments for cost of living increases, resulting in a higher monthly payment.
Advantage of SSDI benefits #2
- You may receive higher retirement and survivors benefits
The second advantage of SSDI benefits is that you may be able to receive payments for your dependents or higher benefits after you retire. Specifically, the SSA will use your earnings record prior to the disability to calculate your benefits payment. The period when you become disabled is not counted.
Employment disability benefits may, however, consider your disability period, allowing for the lack of earnings for a number of months or years to lower the wage average, thus lowering the benefit payments.
Advantage of SSDI benefits #3
- Receiving Medicare health care coverage
The third advantage of SSDI benefits is that recipients will eventually receive Medicare benefits. Given the cost of medical care getting discounted medical coverage may, in some cases, be as valuable as getting the monthly SSDI payments. This advantage has become even more critical over the last five to ten years as employers have eliminated health care coverage or group benefit plans.
Advantage of SSDI benefits #4
- Increased incentives to return to work
The fourth advantage of SSDI benefits is that the SSA has created several incentives to help a claimant return to work if their condition improves. Incentives include vocational rehabilitation options as well as a program which allows claimants to return to work through trial work periods.
The trial work period can be especially beneficial because it allows a claimant receiving SSDI to return to work with no earning restrictions for nine months.
What do I need to know before applying for SSDI benefits?
First, if you have a short-term health condition such as pregnancy, you will not qualify for SSDI benefits, regardless of whether or not you can work. SSDI is only offered for conditions which are expected to last for at least 12 continuous months.
Next, if you are receiving employer based disability benefits and you start receiving SSDI benefits, the employer-paid disability benefit is reduced by the original amount paid by Social Security.
Talk to a disability lawyer or your human resources department before applying for SSDI benefits.